To protect yourself from falling victim to these scams, it is important to be vigilant and aware of the warning signs. Watch out for unsolicited text messages or phone calls that request personal or financial information.  Do not click on a suspicious link, or provide any banking information requesting sensitive details. Be cautious of urgent or threatening language used in these messages, as well as messages that appear to be from reputable sources like banks or government agencies.

To avoid becoming a target of a text message or phone scam, the FTC provides the following recommendations:

  • Refrain from responding to unsolicited text messages, especially those that ask for personal or financial details.
  • Avoid clicking on links or downloading attachments from unknown senders.
  • Verify requests for information or action by contacting the sender through a known and legitimate phone number or website.
  • If you receive a phone call requesting banking information, hang up.  You can verify the legitimacy by contacting your financial provider using the phone number directly from their website.  
  • If you receive a suspicious text message, forward it to the number 7726 (which spells SPAM), and then delete it.
  • Consider installing anti-malware software on your mobile device for added protection against potential threats.

By following these guidelines and staying vigilant, you can safeguard yourself from falling victim to text message scams. Taking these precautions will help you prevent theft and ensure your personal information remains secure. If you are uncertain about the legitimacy of a text message, refer to the dos and don'ts below:


  • Directly contact the supposed text sender by finding a legitimate contact number for the business, such as the number provided on the back of your credit card. Reach out to the business to verify if they are the ones trying to contact you.
  • Forward any spam or scam texts to 7726 (SPAM). Confirming that the number is associated with a smisher, forward the text to 7726 (SPAM). This action will prompt your carrier to investigate the matter.
  • Block any scam phone numbers. If you are unsure how to do this, seek assistance from your wireless carrier.


  • Be easily deceived by a familiar area code. Smishers can manipulate the appearance of the text to make it seem like it is coming from a local number.
  • Be fooled to give out ANY personal information.  Remember your financial provider will NOT call or text you for this information. 
  • Click on links in text messages. Links are commonly used to install harmful software like malware or keyloggers, which can track your activity. If you accidentally click on a link, it is advisable to install an antivirus app to scan your device.
  • Respond to suspicious text messages. Similar to website links, responding to text messages can be exploited to verify your phone number and gain access to your personal information.